Digitalizing Your Enterprise with Digital Business Solutions on Construction Industry

The engineering and construction industry is among the least digitalized industries in the world!  The challenges in this industry make the digitization rate understandable;

  • A typical construction project accommodates many new employees, subcontractors and suppliers with different working cultures that have to work together for a short term.
  • The projects carried out by the companies who are operating in the fields as oil&gas, infrastructure, building, power plant, etc. differ greatly. Due to this reason, companies try to find tools and methods that can be used to manage the processes in all types of projects.
  • Construction works are usually carries out in remote, different locations and harsh environments with unknown parameters. This industry is not suitable for hardware and software developed to manage processes in office environment or the processes when parameters are predictable.
  • Site and office workers resist using new technologies and changing old habits.
  • Wrong software and technological solution preferences that are tried to be implement in pilot projects, but cannot be used in regular operations are considered as ‘wasted investment’. Cannot be spread out the across the company.  The frustrations experienced cause companies to allocate limited budgets for technology and digital transformation.

 

For more information about challenges you can read the following blogs;

“5 Main Digital Transformation Challenges in Construction Industry PART 1” and “5 Main Digital Transformation Challenges in Construction Industry PART2”

Construction industry is ripe for disruption!

In an analyse by McKinsey & Company’s according to the Global Projects Database prepared by independent research company IHS Markit (IHS Herold), revealed that large scaled projects such as infrastructures, mining, petro-chemistry take 20 months longer than planned and completed with budget overruns up to %80.

 

Which strategy should be followed for success on digital transformation in the construction industry?

Despite all these challenges in the engineering and construction industry, the number of companies that successfully digitize their entire business or certain operations is increasing day by day.

Although players in the construction industry still have doubts and fears about new technologies and innovation, reasons such as increased competition and decreased profit margins, new business models coming with increased mobility, remote working and managing needs force companies to find the most suitable digital solutions for their processes.

When companies that can digitize their processes successfully with digital business solutions are examined, some common points are identified:

 

Focusing on finding business solutions for problematic operations rather than focusing on technological features

While choosing digital business processes, companies should first understand whether these software can ‘improve or cannot improve their operations’ and ‘how they can improve’.  Even if the digital systems they install are developed with the latest technology, the wrong software choices that are not suitable for the construction companies’ business processes cause disappointment.  After a while, the workforce, who saw that it did not provide any benefit in their operations, does not adopt this innovation.

These digital tools become software for recording data only after the budget cannot be control and exceeded, after wrong purchases, after equipment break down due to the delayed maintenance or after wrong production due to the drawing in wrong revision, instead of providing the reports simultaneously in order to detect and prevent problems in advance, and it remains idle after a while.

At this stage, working with software that are developed according to the needs of the construction industry, focused on the problems at job site and software companies that have experience at this field increases the success in digital transformation processes.  The software solutions to be implemented should not only allow digitalization by improving the traditional business methods in the companies, but also allow to move the existing methods directly to the digital system.  Due to the nature of the construction industry, the systems should support to design different flows according to the different project type.

ENKA Systems – Digital transformation with 60 years of experience on construction

 

Use of digital solutions that promote coordination among departments

Companies often use digital solutions for the activities of a single business or a single activity in their projects.  Digitizing the interaction between multiple stakeholders or disciplines by using a single system is complex for most of the companies and they avoid this.  However, in this case, they miss the opportunity to prevent major efficiency losses due to the inefficient information transfer between business units.  For this reason, they should find a way to move the activities between multiple disciplines to digital platforms that enable collaboration in order to minimize labor losses, progress in accordance to the plan and budget, and ensure quality and safe production.

If we give an example from the real cases; production is carried out at the construction site according to the drawing in the old revision.  Even if they want to check whether these drawing are the last revision, a series of phone and e-mail interviews are also taking place.  In addition, when incorrect productions are detected during quality audits and notified to contractors manually, a series of correspondence and approval traffic happens to ensure the flow of information.  In order to correct the wrong production, the crew has to stop the existing job and sometimes have to destroy the old production and do it again.  Such unplanned cases not only disrupt the project work plan, but also negatively reflect on the project budget by labor and material loss.

In another scenario, in a project using a digital common data environment system (CDE), a similar situation is much rarer.  Because the engineers at the construction site checks the current revision from the digital data sharing system by scanning the QR code on the drawing in hand before production, and then construction starts.  If there is any comment they can share their notes simultaneously with the relevant parties through BIM Models by using the digital collaboration platform.  Can maintain correspondence and work flows online.  Lessons learned from the problems are shared with the project stakeholders on the collaboration platform, and similar problems are prevented.

 

Implementing top-of-the-line management to increase the effectiveness of Digital Business Solutions throughout the company

Thanks to digital business solutions used in all projects within the company;

  • with the consolidation of budget and production data from multi projects and business units, more competitive bids can be placed in future tenders and profitability increases,
  • resource increases can be optimized by mastering workforce and equipment resources throughout the company, and effective resource planning can be made by responding quickly to variable project demands,
  • Know-how information can be transferred to the future projects by using single platform to store documents at project level as designs, method statements, etc.

With such tangible benefits, the idea of using digital technologies in companies is adopted and researches continue to use these systems in advance level.

 

Although the engineering & construction sector has justified difficulties in digitization, it is obvious that the companies that take bold steps in this regard or follow the companies that successfully implement the digital transformation, have an advantage in the competition at the industry.

Discover how you can achieve successful digital transformation in your company with ENKA Systems Solutions